Thinking about Heating Thursday

    Today we discuss different types of heating systems your home may have or need, especially for these North Country winters! 

    When buying a home, it is important to check all existing systems that are in place for things like heating, which you will really need in the winter here. There are several different systems to choose from if you are looking, and each can have its own positive and negative qualities. It is an easy rule of thumb to follow; if your system has been there for 20+ years, it is more than likely time to replace it. If the system is only 10-15 years old, replacing it depends on cost, efficiency, performance, and size. It is sometimes best to get professional help in determining your plan of action for either a heating or cooling system. One of the wonderful perks of the North Country is that our blistering cold winters are contrasted with our boiling and humid summers. So while today’s blog is centered around heating systems, don’t forget it’s just as important to have a cooling system!

    Most American homes host a central heating system also known as a furnace, which can use natural gas, fuel oil, or electricity. Furnaces heat air and blow it through ducts to different parts of the house for the “central” heating. Be sure to not that older furnaces waste about 30% of the fuel they use as it goes directly into the atmosphere and is lost. New features and regulations of furnaces have been put into effect during early 2016 and should be considered when choosing a new system and evaluating the old. Please also keep a close eye on how much fuel your system wastes with every rotation and choose wisely to help the environment. Boilers are more common in older homes where water is boiled and then the heat is distributed through things such as radiators. Condensing gas-fired boilers are more common as they are more efficient and generally heat homes better by using natural gas and heating oil as fuel. Be sure that there are vents and filtration in place between you and your heating systems. There are also complex systems such as heat pumps that take the heat from the inside in the summer and pump it out while it performs the opposite in the winter. This doubles as both a heating and cooling system and can work very well in most homes. It differs from other systems because it uses electricity to move heat rather than generate it.

    Also quite common in the North Country are space heaters for different areas in your home, as well as the use of fireplaces. These contraptions add a little extra heat and coziness to parts of your home that may need it more than others. Most space heaters are run by battery power or electricity, while fireplaces can be natural in a chimney or electric as well. These can be great investments and simple fixes to any heating problems you may be having. While these are easy and cheaper solutions, sometimes it helps to seek professional opinions and really look into your heating system or potential heating system of the home you are about to purchase.

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